House approves bill for early release of retirement benefits

THE House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill requiring all government offices to release the retirement benefits of their employees within 15 days from retirement.

House Bill 3862, authored by Reps. Jane Tan-Castro (2nd District, Capiz), Roilo Golez (2nd District, Parañaque City) and Salvador H. Escudero III (1st District, Sorsogon), penalizes the head or chief of any government office that fails to release the retirement benefits within 15 days from retirement with a six-month suspension without pay.

“The penalty shall not apply if the release of the retirement benefits could not be accomplished due to force majeure and other insuperable causes,” Golez said.

The measure requires the retiree to submit all requirements to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) 60 days prior to the effective date of retirement.

Escudero said institutionalizing the early release of the retirement benefits ensure the expeditious release of the benefits due to government employees.

“The bill addresses the delay in the release of benefits to retiring government employees.  Complaints of the retirees remain as common occurrences,” Escudero said.

Under the bill, any administrative case filed against a government employee shall be terminated at least three months before the date of retirement.

The bill provides further that any administrative case filed against a compulsory retiree within three months before the date of retirement shall be considered a harassment suit unless otherwise found meritorious by the head of office or agency  concerned.

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